Marco police officer accused of abusing authority after felony traffic stop

— For Joe Oliverio, being arrested on April 21 was one of the most disturbing nights of his life. Now, he’s fighting to clear his name and demanding that the Marco Island police sergeant he claims is responsible for his arrest be fired.

Oliverio, 51, says he was pulled over by police in the 200 block of Collier Boulevard shortly after 10:40 p.m., ordered out of the car he was driving at gunpoint, handcuffed and arrested for felony grand theft auto. But Oliverio, who owns Joey’s Pizza, claims the incident is a personal vendetta carried out by Marco Island Police Sergeant Tige Thompson.

According to a police report, Marco Island Police received an anonymous tip that a Bentley reported stolen from the Chicago-area was spotted in the parking lot of Oliverio’s pizzeria. After hours of surveillance, Sgt. Thompson advised units that a man was driving the car out of the lot at approximately 10:40 p.m., and officers conducted a felony traffic stop. The police report further states that Oliverio told Sgt. Thompson and other officers on scene that the car was not stolen, but that he was holding the Bentley as collateral until a civil matter he had with the owner, Gregory Perkins, which dates back to 2009, was resolved.

Although Oliverio claims that he requested officers contact Marco Police Detective Glenn Zirgibel, who had investigated the stolen car claim and determined that Perkins filed a false report, no further investigation by officers was taken and Oliverio was arrested.

Oliverio was released early the next morning on $2,500 cash bond. However, he believes the entire incident is the result of an on-going dispute between himself and Sgt. Thompson.

“He said he was going to get me and he did,” stated Oliverio after describing his experience to City Council members at their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday. Oliverio wants a thorough investigation of the incident.

“Sgt. Thompson abused his authority,” he told council members.

“This is not the kind of person we want representing Marco Island,” added Oliverio’s wife, Doreen, who was driving a separate car, and also pulled over by police at the same time as her husband. She claims that traffic stop was unwarranted. When asked the reason for the stop, she claims an officer told her police didn’t want her to be near her husband.

Doreen Oliverio told councilors that her husband’s arrest was made solely to destroy his good name.

Speaking on Oliverio’s behalf, resident Vip Grover called Oliverio “a good servant of this community.”

“This is really about our community,” he said. “That could have happened to any one of us.

“At best, Sgt. Thompson was out of line. At worst, it was a major violation of the oath he took.”

Marco Island Police Chief Thom Carr said he was unable to comment, pending the outcome of an investigation. Attempts to reach Sgt. Thompson and by phone and email were unsuccessful as of Tuesday at noon.

Oliverio demanded that the city complete a thorough investigation and that the record of his arrest be expunged.

“I have a felony arrest on my record that I have to fight to have cleared.”

Oliverio, who has met personally with Chief Carr and City Manager Jim Riviere, has retained an attorney in an effort to have the charges against him dropped. He says he’ll consider additional legal action if he’s unsatisfied with the city’s efforts in the matter. Oliverio is scheduled to be in court for arraignment on May 16.

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Comments » 68

RayPray writes:

Joey should have called 911 to report this shamus harassment the moment he was stopped, just like the kid last week on whom the cops planted weed to cover their derrieres.

At least Joey wasn't charged with the truly heinous crime of following too close.....

Hope the City attorney has enough time to answer all these suits against our Neanderthal and often in their cups constabulary.

August8 writes:

"Ummm Bologna"

.Sergeant Thompson needs an attorney and I hope he is represented prior to saying" One word."
.If Joey has a beef, then investigate it, meeting with the Chief and the Manager prior to that is inappropriate.
.If I am not mistaken, Joey has had problems before with police, check with his wife, I believe she may remember, who knows what else.
.The story about collateral on the car, a little hazzy, was it a message?
.Zirgibel should be a ble to clear this up??
.Thompson really has a beef with Joey, really??

This will be a wash !!!!

RayPray writes:

in response to August8:

"Ummm Bologna"

.Sergeant Thompson needs an attorney and I hope he is represented prior to saying" One word."
.If Joey has a beef, then investigate it, meeting with the Chief and the Manager prior to that is inappropriate.
.If I am not mistaken, Joey has had problems before with police, check with his wife, I believe she may remember, who knows what else.
.The story about collateral on the car, a little hazzy, was it a message?
.Zirgibel should be a ble to clear this up??
.Thompson really has a beef with Joey, really??

This will be a wash !!!!

---A very quick response from the Marco Keystone Kops

1adam12 (Inactive) writes:

Marco PD is going down hill fast.

Johnnymarco49 writes:

This cop knew who was in the car if he had been watching it like the story tells. I have been pulled over once in the last 18 years and low and behold it was this same cop. I got a warning and that very week he receives an award for the most tickets written, hmm? imagine that. A Marco cop abuse their power? Say its not true. Maybe if Joey sold donuts he would be better off. Good luck Joey!

common-sense writes:

It seems very clear that the folks that comment in such a negative way to this story and stories such as these do not have any clue as to how law enforcement and the law works.
In this case, if the suspect was in-fact driving a car that the state computer system shows as "stolen", and he claims he is holding the vehicle as collateral in a civil matter, the court needs to straighten that out.
If you report your car as stolen, and someone is found driving it, you would want the person arrested.
The suspect in this case at the very best used poor judgment to drive a car he was holding as collateral, at the worst, he was driving a stolen car.
Police should always perform a felony stop for a felony.
Learn the term and difference between probable cause and beyond a reasonable doubt.

RayPray writes:

"Marco Island Police Chief Thom Carr said he was unable to comment, pending the outcome of an investigation."

Is this the investigation into Thompson?

Or the one related to allegation of Chief Carr being a public drunk?

Is the City Council still napping?

After all, the Council has afflicted the island with this pencil-necked crew of clowns.

Could someone go in and wake them up?

happy6 writes:

Speaking on Oliverio’s behalf, resident Glenn Hanke called Oliverio “a good servant of this community.”

“This is really about our community,” he said. “That could have happened to any one of us.

are you kidding me? would not have happened to anyone i know...joey hits doreen,,,she files charges...joey goes to jail...then doreen hits joey...he files charges...doreen goes to jail..check it out...3 years ago....this character lives on the edge...with money and lifestyle...he is a crybaby that seems to think the world owes him a living...perhaps it is because of his chicago union upbringing....
sorry joey...you need to pay the piper this time as opposed to getting your atty to get the charges dropped..

40dawg writes:

in response to RayPray:

Joey should have called 911 to report this shamus harassment the moment he was stopped, just like the kid last week on whom the cops planted weed to cover their derrieres.

At least Joey wasn't charged with the truly heinous crime of following too close.....

Hope the City attorney has enough time to answer all these suits against our Neanderthal and often in their cups constabulary.

To the officers involved with the arrest of the punk several weeks ago that this guy Ray refers too, HIRE AN ATTORNEY IMMEDIATELY and file a civil suit against this guy for slander. He just accused all of you of planting weed which is a serious accusation. PLEASE start a lawsuit, this guy needs to know that what he is doing violates your rights, trust me, he has crossed the line this time and may have to pay out of his wallet for this.

happyhorowitz34145 writes:

This guy is a "good servant of the community"?
A good servant with a DUI, battery, and a history of resisting arrest.

This wanna be "GOOMBA" is "holding onto a car as collateral"?
Yeah RIGHT!
Does the IRS know that Joey is owed $100K, because they're looking for the quarter mil in taxes that he didn;t pay them?

scuba22 writes:

Tige Thompson has a severe case of napoleon complex mipd needs to get a life and quit harrassing the good people of Marco Island.Tige was fired from collier county for planting evidence how can anyone believe a word he says?

u2cane writes:

in response to MarcoIslandWoman:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Do you even know Joey? He can be a nice guy at times, but he has the ability to lose his temper quickly.

ohbrther writes:

gee, joey takes a car because someone owes him money....this is marco not new york city ....hhhmmmm how about he doesn't pay his own bills when he built that ugly monstrosity (sp) of a house and moans because he has to cough up a fraction of what he owes to the companies that supplied the materials. then he hits his wife.....big man...NOT...regardless if she hits him or not...you don't hit a woman..but then have you seen his wife....eeeee gads...what a beef... but thats besides the point. he stole a car and now wants justice and his good(haha)name cleared...is he above the law???? what if it was your car he took...wouldn't you want him arrested for stealing your car?

239mrright writes:

how amny complaints do we have to put against the same cop untill action is taken, not only did he abuse hes powers as a collier county cop now also as a marco one? thsi is prolly some cop who got picked on in school and now feels he has to save the world, just like every bored marco cop.

scuba22 writes:

Tige Thompson should be fired as a wrestling coach and a harrassing cop.
MIPD should just dissolve and let ccso handle Marco again it's nothing but a waste of money

MarcoMaven writes:

I don't know, yet, if Thompson did indeed overstep his authority but quite obviously he knows who Joe Oliviero is and to adopt MIPD's usual 'hang-em-and-hang-em-high' attitude does raise a question or two. It does indeed appear that there is a vendetta at work here. It's a well-known fact that certain officers in the MIPD target islanders they feel need attention, and they use the flimsiest of reasons to harass them. One, now fired, was notorious for it (read the January 2010 article) and it was surprising that he was fired.

u2cane writes:

in response to scuba22:

Tige Thompson should be fired as a wrestling coach and a harrassing cop.
MIPD should just dissolve and let ccso handle Marco again it's nothing but a waste of money

I agree with dissolving the force, saves money in our budget!!!!!!

u2cane writes:

Marco Island Police force is to law enforcement on Marco Island as the Marco Island Academy is to education on Marco Island. Not necessary and not needed. We have the Sheriff's office and Lely!

MarcoMaven writes:

in response to u2cane:

I agree with dissolving the force, saves money in our budget!!!!!!

The MIPD began servicing the city in 2000, after a vote by islanders that supposedly supported its formation. Yet, dozens of islanders claimed they voted "no" on the referedum (myself included) yet it passed. One wonders what strings were pulled by laywers like Glenn Tucker to influence the outcome. Mr. Tucker had a reputation for behind-the-scenes manuvering. Even so, why does the MIPD have so many problems? It's an island of 15,000 people and it would be interesting to find out just how many lawsuits the city has had to fend off involving the MIPD. Remember when they harassed and targeted a local Pharmacy for filling pain medication perscriptions? I wonder how that was brushed under the rug. It appears their oath to serve and protect goes out the window the minute they get a badge. Everybody knows Joey Oliviero; he wasn't going anywhere. There was no reason to arrest him, but of course that looks mighty good on Thompson's record of arrests.

August8 writes:

"OK-Ok"
It seems that enough people here know this cat Joey, he's an a/h in every sense of the word!!!
Listen,

Thompson, do not talk with anyone without a lawyer, listen dude !!

If the manager and chief dicussed this case with this cat Joey, and then investigate Thompsom, they have a problem !!!!

If this vehicle was in the state or national system, and anyone knew it , did not remove it if this was civil in nature, Thompsom could be the next Police Chief !!

Finally,

Thomson, be cool, look at recent developements, lawyer up now, do not trust anyone and do not give any statements until you do !!

RayPray writes:

in response to August8:

"OK-Ok"
It seems that enough people here know this cat Joey, he's an a/h in every sense of the word!!!
Listen,

Thompson, do not talk with anyone without a lawyer, listen dude !!

If the manager and chief dicussed this case with this cat Joey, and then investigate Thompsom, they have a problem !!!!

If this vehicle was in the state or national system, and anyone knew it , did not remove it if this was civil in nature, Thompsom could be the next Police Chief !!

Finally,

Thomson, be cool, look at recent developements, lawyer up now, do not trust anyone and do not give any statements until you do !!

---August 8, a beacon of the Marco Keystone Kops....

marcofriend writes:

in response to MarcoMaven:

The MIPD began servicing the city in 2000, after a vote by islanders that supposedly supported its formation. Yet, dozens of islanders claimed they voted "no" on the referedum (myself included) yet it passed. One wonders what strings were pulled by laywers like Glenn Tucker to influence the outcome. Mr. Tucker had a reputation for behind-the-scenes manuvering. Even so, why does the MIPD have so many problems? It's an island of 15,000 people and it would be interesting to find out just how many lawsuits the city has had to fend off involving the MIPD. Remember when they harassed and targeted a local Pharmacy for filling pain medication perscriptions? I wonder how that was brushed under the rug. It appears their oath to serve and protect goes out the window the minute they get a badge. Everybody knows Joey Oliviero; he wasn't going anywhere. There was no reason to arrest him, but of course that looks mighty good on Thompson's record of arrests.

The lawsuit between Island Drugs and the City of Marco is still ongoing. It isn't over yet and will certainly be interesting to hear the outcome.

dc5799 writes:

What about the two elderly people who were run down outside of Porky's a few yrs back?He was killed and she suffered severe injuries.
The driver was never arrested or charged. I bet he wasn't tested either.
He belonged to someone who had some drag plus the cops said the couple was drinking.
drunking walking!

MIslander writes:

Tige Thompson was fired from the Collier County Sheriff's Office in 2005 for destroying evidence and lying about video taping topless women during Canoe Races (http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2005/m...).

He was then hired by the MIPD. Last year, he routinely crashed his patrol cruiser into a lamppost. No sobriety test was conducted. (http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2010/f...)

Tige Thompson is the man involved in many of the past few high profile arrests, including the practicing medicine without a license kids. This man has no credibility when it comes to judicial proceedings.

He was fired by the county for lying and covering up evidence, and the Marco Island Police Department makes him a sergeant.

How does such a small police force with relatively no crime, and a budget of over $4 million annually and growing, bring this much attention against themselves? Time to go away, MIPD.

MarcoMaven writes:

in response to MIslander:

Tige Thompson was fired from the Collier County Sheriff's Office in 2005 for destroying evidence and lying about video taping topless women during Canoe Races (http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2005/m...).

He was then hired by the MIPD. Last year, he routinely crashed his patrol cruiser into a lamppost. No sobriety test was conducted. (http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2010/f...)

Tige Thompson is the man involved in many of the past few high profile arrests, including the practicing medicine without a license kids. This man has no credibility when it comes to judicial proceedings.

He was fired by the county for lying and covering up evidence, and the Marco Island Police Department makes him a sergeant.

How does such a small police force with relatively no crime, and a budget of over $4 million annually and growing, bring this much attention against themselves? Time to go away, MIPD.

Very few MIPD officers have much credibility in judicial proceedings, which illicts a great deal of tongue-in-cheek amusement throughout the CCSO.
Get rid of the MIPD and spend the $4 million on something the island needs; it doesn't need the constant embarrassment generated by their staggeringly poor performance, beginning with Chief Carr's drinking problem.

42yearsago writes:

I too was told by Lely wrestling coach and Marco Island Police Sgt Tigh Thompson, "that he would get me".Napoleon complex comes to mind.

happyhorowitz34145 writes:

It's noy about the MIPD or a cop with a socalled vendetta!!!!!!!
How about the fact that the little pizza guru is owed $100K, so he takes the guys car as callateral until he paid!
In other words "Joey" was holding the Bentley until the guy paid off his gambling debt!
If you don'y believe that, then how else do you think he makes his money?
It's not from selling lousy pizza!

porschett writes:

The MIPD is a joke. It's like watching reruns of the Keystone Cops. Fire them all and bring back the CCSD to oversee the island!

Ian_Curtis writes:

There is a posting on the district site for a wrestling coach position at Lely. I do not know, but it looks like he may not be their wrestling coach any longer.

happy6 writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

u2cane writes:

in response to islandeye1#236971:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Marianne knows the chief is drunk because from her posts she is drunk all the time too. Must be drinking buddies, how else would she know?

RayPray writes:

in response to islandeye1#236971:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

---Odd how IslandIgnoramous, who had such strong opinions on the poor young man the thick-fingered cop stopped for close following on whom grass then had to be planted,is so quiet on this latest outrage by the Marco Keystone Kops?

---No statements how Joey will learn a positive lesson from this salutary experience?

---No observations on how Joey's parents were to blame for his getting stopped?

>>> How can U be so dumber than a door?

>>> Even Nancy Pelosi would have zero to do with you, no matter how much moolah you gave her....

happyhorowitz34145 writes:

HEEEEEEEEEEYY!
I have a great idea!!!!!
Lets have Joey go to Naples and steal their fire boat for Chief Sparky and it will save the City $225K and then we'll have the president of the Restaruant Owners Association give him an award for "serpant of the year"
Wait a minute can you give yourself an award?
AWWWW who cares,it will make for a great picture, Vip Grover handing Joey a trophy.
Then Joey loses the trophy to another bookie and then claims it as stolen, so as to collect on the insurance.
Isin't that right Vip?

August8 writes:

"Ya Know"

I think it is time for the Chief of Police to come out and publically discuss the matter related to his drinking?
Drinking is legal and most adults indulge, however, to continue to allow folks to accuse him of extreme conduct could be very unfair to him, his position and the City so why not open up and either put it to bed or move on?
Enough is enough, the police chief demands support, so clear this up and go get it, do not let it lenger any longer, seriously !!!!

MarcoMaven writes:

Two points are bothering me:
1. "After hours of surveillance (of the car in the parking lot) Sgt Thompson advised units.....to conduct a felony traffic stop."
All based on an annoymous tip? Those run rampant on that island but the MIPD act on them as if they are gospel. Why didn't Sgt. Thompson go into the restaurant during those hours of surveillance and ASK Joey what was going on? He knows him of course. Was that too much to ask? Apparently, if indeed he was 'out of get him.' An arrest probably got him near his quota for the month, and he did have to justify all those hours of surveillance.
2. Mr. Oliverio told officers to contact Glenn Zirgibel who could explain what was going on, but they refused apparently, perhaps at Sgt. Thompson's bidding, and instead arrested Mr. Oliverio. Seems to me that all Sgt. Thompson was interested in doing was making the arrest.
We're not talking about some unknown tourist from Idaho, but about a respected restauranteur , known to almost everybody (who may have had personal problems in his past but nobody is perfect), and Sgt. Thompson could have given him the benefit of the doubt. Was he worried about Joey fleeing to Venezuela? Hardly. One would think Thompson was stalking Osama bin Laden.

k1787 writes:

in response to ohbrther:

gee, joey takes a car because someone owes him money....this is marco not new york city ....hhhmmmm how about he doesn't pay his own bills when he built that ugly monstrosity (sp) of a house and moans because he has to cough up a fraction of what he owes to the companies that supplied the materials. then he hits his wife.....big man...NOT...regardless if she hits him or not...you don't hit a woman..but then have you seen his wife....eeeee gads...what a beef... but thats besides the point. he stole a car and now wants justice and his good(haha)name cleared...is he above the law???? what if it was your car he took...wouldn't you want him arrested for stealing your car?

I have been laughing ever since I read your comments about his wife. Three or 4 years ago my wife and I walked over to Joey's the evening of Dec 31st, New Years eve. It was right after having dinner at Vergina's, drove home, parked the car, and walked over. We are in our 50's and dressed island casual. Dress pants, dress shoes and shirt, while my wife was dressed in her usual great style. We were not dressed in tshirts, sandals, shorts etc. It was 9:00 p.m. and we thought we would have a drink or 2 and walk home. People were leaving, guessed they were finishing dinner, when we arrived. Employees were moving tables around, out of nowhere rushed Doreen. She quickly told us that this was New Year's eve and we were not dressed appropriately for the occasion, and to leave. I looked my wife at the same time as she looked at me. Standing in front of us was this woman, that you described perfectly, dressed in what could have been a bridesmaid dress at any New Jersey Italian wedding. We were not appropriately dressed!! We were speechless and left without any response. I had an urge to turn around to ask her when she would be leaving to change. But instead we laughed about the situation and remember that evening anytime we drive by Joey's. It was our 1st and only time at Joey's. By the way, what planning department genius issued an occupancy permit for his restaurant that far exceeds it's parking capacity? His neighbour to the south has had to hire security to keep his own parking open for his customers. If Sgt Thompson, likes writing tickets, why not ticket Joey's customers that park illegally off his property. That's how you get even, $25.00 tickets wouldn't make for a happy customer.

porschett writes:

Sort of reminds me of the time the cops went after Ken Venture, remember that?

1adam12 (Inactive) writes:

in response to MarcoMaven:

Two points are bothering me:
1. "After hours of surveillance (of the car in the parking lot) Sgt Thompson advised units.....to conduct a felony traffic stop."
All based on an annoymous tip? Those run rampant on that island but the MIPD act on them as if they are gospel. Why didn't Sgt. Thompson go into the restaurant during those hours of surveillance and ASK Joey what was going on? He knows him of course. Was that too much to ask? Apparently, if indeed he was 'out of get him.' An arrest probably got him near his quota for the month, and he did have to justify all those hours of surveillance.
2. Mr. Oliverio told officers to contact Glenn Zirgibel who could explain what was going on, but they refused apparently, perhaps at Sgt. Thompson's bidding, and instead arrested Mr. Oliverio. Seems to me that all Sgt. Thompson was interested in doing was making the arrest.
We're not talking about some unknown tourist from Idaho, but about a respected restauranteur , known to almost everybody (who may have had personal problems in his past but nobody is perfect), and Sgt. Thompson could have given him the benefit of the doubt. Was he worried about Joey fleeing to Venezuela? Hardly. One would think Thompson was stalking Osama bin Laden.

Very well said. Joey is no angel but the cop made a poor decision.

JohninMarco writes:

What ever side of this issue you are on, this was not MIPD's finest hour. It seems that we are seeing a trend, with a total lack of leadership from BOTH the Chief and Captain.

RayPray writes:

Here is the nub of this case:

Joey can be worse than bin Laden. But he is a private citizen. If you avoid his restaurant, there nothing he can do to you.

The orangutangs of the Marco Keystone Kops are arms of the government. They can arbitrarily target you just like they did Joey -- or that young man harassed last week for vehicular propinquity.

This kid was too smart for the harassing cop and called 911. So to save his skin, the cop planted weed on him, to tarnish his story.

If you don't like Joey's pizza, you can just go somewhere else....

blogsmog writes:

let the people of marco decide on the future of the mipd...referrendum.

August8 writes:

"Waisting time I know"

Raypray---you could place a large Joey's Pizza in your mouth,one bite, yes you could !!!!

MarcoCitizen writes:

Considering the number of lawsuits our City has to endure in defense of the MIPD, and the additional 4+ million dollar a year we already pay beyond the many millions we pay to the County for police that they don't have to provide, we should definitely have a referendum on continuing our MIPD or allowing back the CCSO.
Saving 4+ million a year while improving service is a move in the right direction.

August8 writes:

???????
Why don't these ladies turn off the lights and sit in the dark, save money and perhaps see a little better??? Fossil's

RayPray writes:

in response to islandeye1#236971:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You and your pencil-neck Sancho Panza, August7?

Less than 2 Pods in a Pea....?

RayPray writes:

in response to August8:

???????
Why don't these ladies turn off the lights and sit in the dark, save money and perhaps see a little better??? Fossil's

How long is it you have suffered this cogitation dyslexia?

u2cane writes:

in response to MarcoCitizen:

Considering the number of lawsuits our City has to endure in defense of the MIPD, and the additional 4+ million dollar a year we already pay beyond the many millions we pay to the County for police that they don't have to provide, we should definitely have a referendum on continuing our MIPD or allowing back the CCSO.
Saving 4+ million a year while improving service is a move in the right direction.

Now that is change I can stand behind!

u2cane writes:

in response to MarcoIslandWoman:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

So that is what you have been trying to say all these years. Geez, if you had just said that in plain english instead of broken german/english we might have understood you and you wouldn't have had to post all that jibberish.

1adam12 (Inactive) writes:

in response to u2cane:

Now that is change I can stand behind!

Well said!

u2cane writes:

in response to MarcoIslandWoman:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

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